Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cotu takes State to task over sugar cartels

Cotu takes State to task over sugar cartels

Updated Wednesday, August 7th 2013 at 23:07 GMT +3

"These cartels have been heavily dependent on their rich political connections."
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions ( Cotu) has censured the Government for not taking adequate measures to rein in cartels in the sugar industry.

The organisation claimed that the sugar cartels have been linked to the country’s elite, and import cheap duty-free sugar into the country, which they then sell at exorbitant prices.
“The thriving of these cartels has been heavily dependent on their rich political connections, which this Government must take decisive action against and dismantle, lest the much-anticipated growth of our economy remains a pipe dream,” Francis Atwoli, Cotu’s secretary-general, said.
“It is absurd that the cartels are now hell-bent on driving hundreds of Kenyans out of employment and stifling the entire sugar industry by killing our local industries so that they can continue dumping cheap sugar in the country.”
Atwoli said the situation has become dire in recent months, adding that the sugar industry was on the verge of collapse.
“Unless the Government moves with speed to arrest the situation, the nine sugar factories operating in the country will adversely be affected, including their workers and the cane growers whose livelihoods heavily depend on the industry,” he said.
He also expressed concern over how previous governments have handled the issues bedeviling the industry, from the hoarding of sugar that subjects consumers to price hikes to the dumping of cheap imports that affect local industries.

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